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While it’s fun working on your website’s aesthetics (after all, who doesn’t want their website to look cool?), it’s important to remember that there’s more to design than aesthetics. If you want to generate leads and boost brand awareness, you’re going to have to work on your website’s usability and user experience. If you create a fantastic UX and make your pages easy to navigate and use, your business will improve and help you gain and keep new users. Don’t forget—there’s a billion of websites out there and you need to make sure yours stands out. With that in mind, here are a couple of tips to remember for your next design project.
Keep It Simple
Like we already mentioned above, improving the look of your website is fun, but most of your visitors aren’t going to come to your site to see how pretty its design is. They’re there to e.g. purchase something or find a certain piece of information. That’s why it’s more important for your website to be simple and functional than full of elements which will just distract your users and make it harder for them to complete what they came to your site for. Keeping it simple means not using too many colours (three to four max), typefaces (up to three), and graphics (only put them up when necessary).
No matter which font or colour you decide to use for your website, just make sure you stay consistent across all of your website’s pages. This goes for content, backgrounds, and tone of writing, too—being consistent can really make a world of difference for the UX. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that every page should look exactly the same. Create different layouts, but just keep the same elements on all of them. Unique layouts will make it easier to for your visitors to remember what’s what on your website and to get to desired pages more quickly.
While it’s fantastic to be unique, there are some design conventions that you just shouldn’t change. This includes e.g. placing the navigation at the top of a page and using the shopping cart symbol on e-commerce websites. This is something that’s been around for ages and that users have got used to over the years, so if you change these conventions, you will confuse your visitors and make it difficult for them to navigate your website. Use the familiar to your advantage and your users will be grateful for it.
One of the most annoying things in the world is arriving to a website and not knowing where to click to get to a e.g. product you’re interested in. Your visitors shouldn’t have to think too much about this, because navigation should be as simple as possible. In order to make navigation as smooth as possible on your website, try including breadcrumbs on every page, having a search bar at the top of your home page, and keeping everything three clicks away from where your users start. You want your users to stay on your website, not scare them away.
You are probably aware of this, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it once more—if you want a truly great UX for your visitors, make it possible for them to access it from different devices, browsers, and operating systems. We’re talking about e.g. responsive design, which adapts your website to different devices by resizing and rearranging content to fit the dimensions of your visitor’s phone or tablet. More and more people have begun to rely on their mobile devices to browse the web, so you need to keep up with the times and create a UX that matches those needs.
Focus On The User
Ultimately, the most important thing when it comes to web design (or anything else, for that matter) is whether or not your users like what you have to offer. After all, you’re making your site more user-friendly for them, aren’t you? The key to improving your website’s UX is testing out different options, gathering feedback from your visitors, and making the necessary changes based on that. Let your users know that you care about their experience and they will come back to your website and stay interested in your website.
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